BOCA RATON, FL – The United States Women's National Team defeated Germany 2-1 in the finale of the 2016 SheBelieves Cup. With the victory, the USWNT finished in first place of the mini three-city tournament that included themselves, England, France, and Germany.
Germany came out of the gate determined and pressing the United States. Both sides kept giving the ball away, and the USA had two great chances on the counter attack.
Carli Lloyd danced past a defender on the top of the box in the first minute, but her shot went past the German goal with no harm done.
Lloyd, the FIFA Women's Player of the Year, once again was on the counter attack five minutes later. Despite her great pass, Alex Morgan's half-chip-half-shot went way over Almuth Schult's goal.
The early pressing by Germany lead to chances by Christian Press herself. Press' cutback and shot was nice, but Schult was able to save it without much effort needed. Press was on the hunt again in the 16th minute when she danced past a couple of German defenders, but once again her shot was saved.
Despite all the good attacks by the Americans, it was the Germans who chalked up the first strike of the match when Anja Mittag's rocket from outside of the box went past a diving Hope Solo and into the left corner in the 29th minute.
Mittag's bullet silenced the boisterous crowd at FAU Stadium, and the Germans were clearly giving the US National Team their toughest challenge of the new calendar year.
It didn’t take long for the World Cup Champions to respond the opening goal scored by Germany.
Alex Morgan absolutely dazzled, flicking the ball over her defender, and then volleying the ball past Schult and into the back of the net. Morgan's highlight reel goal was not only her eighth goal this year, and her second in as many games, but it brought the life back into the crowd in Boca Raton.
The USA took the lead six minutes later, when Sam Mewis' shot from outside the box took a large deflection and skipped past Schult and into the German goal.
The German midfield and back line did not step up to Mewis, who was running straight down the middle of the pitch. Her choice to shoot was also a interesting one, as she had teammates open on the flanks. Alas, her goal gave the Americans the lead going into halftime.
Despite some nervy moments in the beginning of the second half, the US kept the match at bay and controlled most of the second half.
Meghan Klingenberg decided to play the role as play maker in the second half, and had two amazing passes to Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd fall just short. Had the difficult passes been completed, both Lloyd and Morgan would have been alone in the box with only the 'keeper to beat.
With the victory over the second ranked Germans, the USA added another trophy to the collection. The US finished first in the inaugural SheBelives Cup, with Germany in second, England in third, and France finishing last.
With the start of the NWSL season coming up soon, and tune up matches for the USWNT before the Rio Olympics in August, there wont be a shortage of matches in the near future. As always, VAVEL USA will be on top of all things women's soccer.